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Military Prison/UCMJ - What You Need to Know Information relating to the military/UCMJ prison system. Q&A for those new to the system should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 01-24-2008, 10:40 PM
reden reden is offline
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Default Advice on what to do and a brief story

Hello everyone,

I’m new to these boards. I just wanted to give you our story, and if anyone can give us opinions on what to do, that would be great, as we don’t know where to begin.

My brother is in the military. He committed a crime related to drugs while on base here in the U.S. last year on February (2007). It was my mom’s birthday when we found out what happened to him last year, we were both devastated.

Today, the 24th, we find out that his clemency for parole was denied, and we are once more devastated.

He has a wife and three little girls 1, 3, and 7. His wife doesn’t have a very good job so it's difficult for her get by. She had to move close to us so we can help her with her children while she works. My mother works full time, I work full time, and we both try as much as possible to help her. It’s been very hard this past year, more than anything for my mother.

My brother is one of the greatest people I know, he just made a mistake, and I believe he is being over punished for it. I am very angry for what he did, and I believe he deserved to serve some months behind bars for what he did.

Right now though, I just don’t know where to turn. My family has been breaking apart since about seven years ago, and dealing with this issue has added more strain to our relationships.

I just want to know if I can do anything to help my brother. I just graduated college in June of last year and got my BS. I owe a lot of money for my loans, and it would be very hard for me to afford any lawyers. Is there anything I can do please? I need to get my brother out of there. He needs to come home so he can work and take care of his family. I’ve seen people do worse things in the military and don’t get sentences like these. Now, he’s telling us that he might not get out for another year?

Thanks for reading this guys, and if anyone can tell me where to begin I couldn’t thank you enough.

Last edited by reden; 01-24-2008 at 10:42 PM..
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:38 PM
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Niightdrmr Niightdrmr is offline
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Is your brother currently incarcerated in a MILITARY FACILITY??? You might want to check out the Military forum boards here if so - really I am not sure what to tell you to do or where to start really, but it sounds like you have tried the best you can to help. Its hard on the family once a loved one is incarcerated but it is possible to make ends meet and make it thru. Just continue to be there for your brother - as far as what you can do in hiring a lawyer - not really sure because it makes a difference if he is incarcerated in a Military facility or if its a state facility - and then VA has a commonwealth unlike most of the states - so that would play a role as well. Sorry not much help I know - but hopefully someone will come along with a little more advice for you.....

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Old 01-24-2008, 11:48 PM
reden reden is offline
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He is in Ft. Sill Military Reservation, Oklahoma
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:58 AM
Mikels_mom Mikels_mom is offline
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not for sure what you can do to help him, except just be there for him. It really helps them to know they do have support on the outside.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:44 PM
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discoball discoball is offline
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welcome to the site, it is a great place for support and help.

i think that what you can do for him is make sure he is doing for himself. i dont know why he was denied clemency and/or parole. parole is only an option after he has served 1/3 of his sentence.

encourage him to do what he can to earn good time credit and any extra good time credit that he can. i know there is credit to be earned out there so dont let him get down on being there and try to tell you there is nothing he can do for himself. sure it sucks to be there, but why be there one more minute than necessary.

if he has to take classes while he is there, encourage him to do it asap.

you can help by planning for his return. what will he do, where will he stay, how will his family support him (not monitarily, but emotionally).

as far as an attorney, he should be in the appeals process now. the problem with appeals is that it is slow, so most likely he will be home before he gets resolution through appeals. not that should give up on appeals. he will get a military attorney, so if he cannot afford an attorney, he will at least have someone working on his case. the military appeals lawyers just do appeals, so even though they will be busy with cases, they at least have experience doing just appeals.

his wife should be aware that her and his children should have their military id's still and medical benefits, etc... as long as he is in appeals status and still in the military. he can make her POA and she can do it for her and the kids. that is a big money savings for heath insurance.

not sure what else i can think of.

hope that helped some. i know its hard. try to find time to get to visit him, that might really help him stay focused on getting home. good luck
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:51 PM
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I don't have any advice. I am so sorry for all that has happened ot your family. STay in close touch with him. He needs you now and will continue too. Maybe call and talk to a lawyer about it? Will keep you and yours in my prayers.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:37 PM
DeNada DeNada is offline
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Reden,
Welcome to the forum and I'm sorry you and your family are having such a bad time. It sounds from your post that your brother's sentence is fairly light if he was arrested in Feb 07 and has already been up for parole consideration. As a general rule, serving one third of the sentence is mandatory before an inmate will be released on parole. Your best opportunity to help your brother is to submit letters to the next board holding a clemency/parole hearing. Have everyone who knew your brother write one (family, friends, clergy, teachers, etc.) Choose a few that really make a point about your brother's good nature, his good reputation, his ability to be rehabilitated, anything you/they can contribute to try to convince the board that he should be granted parole. Unfortunately, sentencing disparity is a common complaint in military sentencing. Very rarely, though, does a military appellate court order a sentence reduced or even reconsidered (unless a new trial is granted). In that respect, unless you can hire a lawyer to review the case, there really isn't much you can do. You can help your brother by being supportive and positive while he is incarcerated. Help him help himself. All the previous posts had really good information on how to do that. I hope things start looking up for you and your family. It is a tough road, but thankfully in your brother's case, a fairly short one. Keep the faith!

~Lisa.
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The information provided is not legal advice and you may not rely on it as such. It is strongly advised if you have need of legal assistance to consult an attorney.
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:08 PM
reden reden is offline
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Thank you everyone for your advice. We really have done most of the things mentioned by you guys such as clemency. I support him on staying active inside prison, like telling him to work while he's there and exercise or anything recreational. I actually just got off the phone with him 15 minutes ago, and he says he's doing fine.

He said he was pretty angry that he couldn't get his parole, but I told him that should not be a reason for him to get angry and drop to another level where it could just hurt him more. He was very happy to talk to me, as was I.

Thank you again guys for the support, it means a lot to me and my family. I will keep you updated on the case.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:09 PM
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Dear Reden,
I'm sorry to hear about your brother and your families situation I know how hard it is to feel like you are helpless to do anything, but just being there, supporting him is doing so much for him. You weren't clear as to if he was using drugs...of if that is part of his crime, but if that is the case....I don't know if they have any NA counseling at the facility where he is, but if so, encourage him to check into it, really incourage him to work hard there. I hope that you take this with the intention that it is given, but if drugs were involved, then this may be a safe place for him to be for awhile, while he works through the drug issues. You are in my prayers.
Pennie
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